Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A night of Bengali

Where did this week go already??? I cannot believe that it is Wednesday already.
We had a pretty fun weekend here. On Saturday we took Son to the birthday party for the daughter of good friends of ours. After the initial shyness and trying to insert himself underneath my dress, Son joined the festivities once the kids started running around like mad thanks to the sugar high. He then went on to alternate between whining to have me make bubbles for him, to stuffing his face with more cupcake and broccoli (who am I to say no?). An hour later we left to go to the Bangladeshi Embassy, where we were invited for some undefined festivities that night. Turned out that the Embassy was celebrating the so-called "pitha" which is a sweet type of bread/cake typically eaten in Bangladesh in the winter. The Embassy was filled with men and women, all of which were particularly colorfully dressed, and a million frenetic children (most likely thanks to the pitha eating). 3 seconds after we entered the festively lit Embassy, a man met us, introduced himself as the DCM (Deputy Chief of Mission) and promptly whisked us away to meet the Ambassador. The Diplomat actually knew the Ambassador who had given a speech at the FSI few days before that, and the two struck a lively one-minute chat. The DCM seemed quite excited to see us both--he realized that the Diplomat was a US Foreign Service officer but when I started speaking to him in Bengali he was completely awed. We then explained to him that we were indeed spouses and we were BOTH in the Foreign Service, which confused him to no end. It turned out that the Bangladeshi foreign service does not allow tandem couples.
I proceeded to speak (possibly atrocious) Bengali left and right to the utter bewilderment of all. The final touch was when someone ushered me to write something "memorable" on a white board. The person before me was Chinese and he wrote something undoubtedly nice in Chinese to everyone's delight. I suppose I was expected to write something in English but I wrote Bangla instead--I am happy to say people were floored.

Monday's Valentine's Day was spent at home because the Diplomat decided to cook a special meal for me. We sent Son to bed, and sat down to a candle-lit dinner of mussels and a giant bottle of champagne. Half an hour and half a bottle of champagne later, while giggling and digging into the mussels, we felt a presence--turns out, Son had quietly opened the door of his room and was lying on the floor, staring at us. He did have a very diabolic look on his face. We rushed him back into bed and proceeded to finish the bottle. Which we later regretted because Son up at 5.30 am and categorically refused to go back to bed. Happy Valentine's to you too!

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